NBC Cancels 'Do No Harm'

Do No Harm Key Art - H 2013
Matthias Clamer/NBC

Do No Harm Key Art - H 2013

Do No Harm is officially done.

After earning the distinction of becoming the lowest-rated scripted premiere in the history of the Big Four networks, the midseason drama has been taken off NBC's schedule following two low-rated episodes.

The widely panned medical series from creator David Schulner was a modern update of Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It opened to just a 0.9 rating in the adults 18-49 demo and 3.1 million viewers, then dipped even lower in week two to a 0.7 demo rating.

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Starring Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me) as a doctor with a split personality, the cast also included Alana de la Garza, Phylicia Rashad and Samm Levine.

With just two episodes aired, Do No Harm stands with CBS' Made in Jersey as the fastest cancelations to come during the 2012-13 TV season.

NBC will replace previously scheduled episodes of Do No Harm on Feb. 14 and 21 with encore broadcasts of the "Friending Emily" and "Dreams Deferred" episodes of long-running procedural Law & Order: SVU.

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The 10 p.m. Thursday time slot has proved problematic for NBC, which has struggled to successfully launch scripted dramas in the period since ER left the air in 2009. In the past few seasons, the network failed with Prime Suspect and another dual-reality drama, Awake, before dropping newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams -- now airing Fridays -- into the slot.

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Do No Harm's cancelation comes days after Smash made a weak return to NBC's midseason schedule, dropping more than 70 percent in adults 18-49 to a meager 1.1 rating compared to last year's anticipated debut, and hours after news broke that Christina Applegate was exiting the retooled Up All Night. Fellow midseason entry Deception also opened softly in early January, and White House comedy 1600 Penn has not been able to sustain The Office's audience.

Do No Harm continues the broadcast networks' struggles with dual-universe dramas. Despite positive reviews, NBC canceled underperformer Awake after one season, and Fox axed Lone Star after two episodes. In 2008, NBC canceled Christian Slater's split-personality series My Own Worst Enemy after a handful of airings.

Since the beginning of the year, NBC has gone from first to last among the Big Four networks without The Voice and Sunday Night Football. Tuesday comedies Go On and The New Normal have dropped substantially without a rich Voice lead-in.

NBC, meanwhile, still has Anne Heche's Save Me -- which recently tapped The Big C's Darlene Hunt as its new showrunner -- on the bench, with high-concept Revolution returning in late March. On the drama side, Bryan Fuller's Hannibal, which was picked up straight to series, has yet to be scheduled.

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